Think about the way a hen gathers her chicks. She will spread her wings to provide a safe place for them if there is any danger. As the chicks gather under their mother’s wings, you can’t even tell they are hiding there. This is how God wants us to think of him.
The children of Israel had turned away from God and started to follow idols. They had abandoned their covenant with God, and now they were reaping the consequences of their sin: their Temple was destroyed, and they were sent away in shame to live as exiles in a foreign land. Still, even as they adjusted to their new status as refugees, God promised through the prophet Ezekiel that he would gather them back under his wings. He would forgive them and renew his covenant with them. He would deliver them from exile, and give them another chance.
What God promised for the Israelites he has also promised for us, and he has fulfilled that promise in a surprising and powerful way. When we were lost in the exile of sin, he sent his Son to bring us home. On the Cross, Jesus gave up his life so that we could find shelter under the Father’s wings.
This is who our God is. He gathers and he protects. He heals and he delivers. He is very near to us, always ready to welcome us with open arms. Even if we feel unworthy or distant, that’s not how he sees us. He sees us as vulnerable children needing his protection and guidance: something he is always ready to give.